Teen-agers love a mystery.
They proved it this week when they turned out to meet a group of entertainers they had never heard – or heard of – before.
“Come meet The Cowsills,” the invitation read. “They’re a new family-type recording group.”
And so the Atlanta teen-agers met The Cowsills - and found out that Cowsill is their real name and that they have a new single, “The Rain, The Park and Other Things” that is just beginning to be played on an Atlanta radio station.
They also found out that there are six Cowsill boys – four of them sing and the other two make the technical arrangements – plus a little mini-skirted Cowsill girl and their mini-skirted mother, Barbara Cowsill. Daddy doesn’t sing; he’s the director.
There is some confusion about how The Cowsills changed from an all-boy rock ‘n’ roll group to a family rock ‘n’ roll group. But here they are.
The two older boys – Bill, 19, and Bob, 18 – play guitar. So does 13-year-old Barry. And the youngest boy of all – John, 11 – beats the dickens out of a set of drums.
Susan and her mother join in on special numbers.
The thing that impressed the teen-agers at a press conference and private performance by The Cowsills this week was the clarity of sound.
“They’re really in tune and you can understand the words,” one girl said.
They’re also loud. But that may have been because of the middle-sized room they were in.
When the teens got a chance to ask questions, they wanted to know how the kids study when they’re on the road. They learned that a tutor travels with them.
Besides singing the popular rock numbers, The Cowsills have written a ballad of their own, “Stop – Look – Is Anyone there?” And right on the heels of their new single will be an album called “The Cowsills.”
Mama Cowsill thinks she has found the answer to understanding teen-agers – “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em,” she said. “They lead me a merry chase, but it’s working out very well.”
The Cowsills hail from Newport, R.I., where they live in a 22-room, ivy-covered mansion on top of a hill. But, they confess, the windows are broken, the screens are hanging and the grass is three feet high.
There’s a ping-pong table in the “library” and a pool table in the “dining room.”
The way they explain the dilapidated condition of the house is that for the past three years they’ve put all the cash into instruments, sound systems and amplifiers.
The teens who met The Cowsills this week are members of The Atlanta Constitution Teen Board, approximately 35 students from 35 Atlanta area schools, and their guests.